World Aids Day

09/04/2024 | B MANOGNA REDDY

World AIDS Day:

World AIDS Day is observed annually on December 1st to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, remember those who died of the virus, and show support for people living with HIV/AIDS. It is one of the most well-known international health days and allows people to come together in a fight against HIV/AIDs, show empathy for victims and affected communities, as well as promote access to more prevention, treatment and care.

World aids day symbol

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that weakens the immune system leading to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), which reduces the strength of the immune system allowing it to become open to infections by other opportunistic diseases and some cancers. Despite significant strides made towards preventing and treating HIV/AIDS, millions of people are still living with this virus across the globe especially those in low- and middle-income countries.

History:

It all started in August 1987 when two public information officers working for World Health Organization’s Global Programme on AIDS called James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter first conceived the idea about World AIDS Day. The pair presented it to Dr. Jonathan Mann, a director of the same program (now called UNAIDS). Mann was fascinated by its originality which he agreed with and suggested that 1 December 1988 should be marked as the very first World AIDS Day. Mr. Bunn, an ex-journalist with San Francisco’s TV broadcasting industry, had thought it wise to fix future celebrations of this day according to American calendar and media news cycle – long enough after US elections but still before Christmas time.

Theme of the previous years:

  1. 1988: Communication
  2. 1999: Youth
  3. 1990: Women and AIDS
  4. 1991: Sharing the Challenge
  5. 1992: Community Commitment
  6. 1993: Time to Act
  7. 1994: AIDS and the Family
  8. 1995: Shared Rights, Shared Responsibilities
  9. 1996: One World. One Hope
  10. 1997: Children Living in a World with AIDS
  11. 1998: Force for Change: World AIDS Campaign With Young People
  12. 1999: Listen, Learn, Live: World AIDS Campaign with Children & Young People
  13. 2000: AIDS: Men Make a Difference
  14. 2001: I Care. Do You?
  15. 2002: Stigma and Discrimination
  16. 2003: Stigma and Discrimination
  17. 2004: Women, Girls, HIV and AIDS
  18. 2005: Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise
  19. 2006: Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise – Accountability
  20. 2007: Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise – Leadership
  21. 2008: Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise – Lead – Empower – Deliver
  22. 2009: Universal Access and Human Rights
  23. 2010: Universal Access and Human Rights
  24. 2011: Getting to Zero
  25. 2012: Together We Will End AIDS
  26. 2013: Zero Discrimination
  27. 2014: Close the Gap
  28. 2015: On the Fast Track to End AIDS
  29. 2016: Hands up for #HIVprevention
  30. 2017: My Health, My Right
  31. 2018: Know your Status
  32. 2019: Communities Make the Difference
  33. 2020: Global Solidarity Shared Responsibility
  34. 2021: End inequalities. End AIDS. End pandemics (UN) & Ending the HIV Epidemic: Equitable Access, Everyone's Voice (US)
  35. 2022: Equalize
  36. 2023: Let Communities Lead

Aim of the day

The aim of World AIDS Day 2023 is to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and mobilize efforts to address the epidemic by conducting various activities and events across the world. Some of these may include educational programs, counseling and testing services for HIV, fundraising activities, art displays, candlelight marches, community outreach programs and advocacy initiatives that promote combating stigma against people living with HIV/AIDS as well as challenging any form of discrimination. The theme of World AIDS Day varies every year whereby focus can be on areas such as prevention, testing, treatment, reducing stigma or the requirements for particular groupings like women, children or key affected populations.

World AIDS Day offers the global community a chance to recommit itself to ending the epidemic by 2030 in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. It is also a time for remembering those who have lost their lives due to complications arising from HIV infection as well as commending all the people living with this condition.

Last modified on 09/04/2024

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